Sen. Joe Manchin III told reporters in his home state of West Virginia on Friday morning that he does not support the bill to make D.C. the nation’s 51st state, according to audio provided by the Democrat’s office and a report from WVNews.
Manchin, a key swing vote in the closely divided Senate, said he believes a constitutional amendment, rather than legislation, would be required to admit D.C. as a state. His stance deals a major blow to statehood advocates who were hoping for his support after the bill passed the House last week.
Manchin cited findings from the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and comments from then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in reaching his decision.
“They all came to the same conclusion: If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote,” Manchin said in a radio interview with Hoppy Kercheval of West Virginia’s MetroNews, the full audio of which was provided to The Washington Post by Manchin’s staff. [Continue reading…]